Download Festival 2018 – Friday Preview

Download Festival 2018 UK First Poster

As we’re now just 16 days away from the gates of the Download Festival 2018 campsite opening for the first time, it is of course time for Rock Sins to continue our build up for our annual pilgramage to Donington. Those of a wrestling persuasion among our readers may have already seen our NXT at Download preview, and more recently our huge exclusive interview with the NXT champion himself Aleister Black who is very much looking forward to performing at Download once more. But, of course at the heart of every Download are the bands, and Rock Sins’ features editor Jamie Giberti, reviews editor Ali Cooper and senior writer Simon Crampton have teamed up to pick out a dozen of the best bands they think you should check out on the Friday of Download 2018.

Avenged Sevenfold (Headliners)

With their last 2 visits to UK soil being enormous triumphs, the stage is firmly set for Avenged Sevenfold to steal the show at Download 2018. Firmly established as the first metal band to be able to sell out UK arena tours since Slipknot, and with a hugely impressive stage show and a boatload of tunes to back it up, if the weather and technical gods are kind to Shadows, Synester Gates and Co, then A7X are likely to set the bar for the following two days. The only other question is whether they can top their quite brilliant 2014 performance. JG

Marmozets (Main Stage)

One of Britain’s brightest bands, Marmozets have been making a name for themselves over the last couple of years. Releasing two blistering albums, putting on shows so energetic they make the energizer bunny look lazy, and creeping further and further up the bill on the worlds biggest festival. They have gone from ones to watch to ones to beat. Catch them on the Main Stage on Friday showing everyone else how its done. SC

Andrew WK (Zippo Encore stage)

He may have conceded defeat in the party presidential race, but feelgood icon Andrew W.K. is back for his second taste of the Download victory. Following on from the release of fifth opus ‘You’re Not Alone’ back in March, it’s time to ‘Party Hard’ and lose the inhibitions you’ve regained since his last set at Donington in 2015, this time for a hard earned set on the Zippo Encore Stage. Bring your white shirt and jeans if you dare tempt the Download mud gods, bloody your nose and get ‘Totally Stupid’ – Friday night is party night and, according to Andrew himself, ‘Music Is Worth Living For’. (AC)

Jonathan Davis (Zippo Encore Stage)

Good old Jonathan Davis, for over 20 years he has fronted one of metals most enduring bands in KoRn. But he returns to Donington armed with a new solo album ‘Black Labyrinth’ which will showcase a slightly different side to him. This will surely be one of the highlights of weekend as he plays tracks from the new album and hopefully some old KoRn favourites and cuts from the Queen of the Damned soundtrack. SC

Volbeat (Main Stage)

With a sound not quite like anyone else, Volbeat have taken a deserved step up the Download bill this year. They were excellent on their arena run with Alter Bridge eighteen months ago (even if not always fully appreciated by the Alter Bridge audience) and have earned the chance to showcase themselves in a bigger slot at Download 2018. Tunes like Dead But Rising and Seal The Deal will have the fields of Donington having a very good time indeed. JG

Bullet For My Valentine (Main stage)

Bullet For My Valentine are certainly no strangers to Download, having played their first set at the festival in 2004 and a total of nine Donington appearances. With storming new track ‘Over It’ fresh in our ears and their sixth album ‘Gravity’ due at the end of June, it’s safe to say their Friday Main Stage subheadlining slot will be packed equally with timeless classics and fresh sounds. Let’s just hope ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ from the sky while the Bridgend boys ‘Scream Aim Fire’ with their new sticksman and AxeWound costar Jason Bowld and we’ll be happy. (AC)

Emmure (Dogtooth Stage)

Emmure are no strangers to Donington. This will be their third time at Download. But their first with their electric new lineup. This will get heavy and dirty quickly, and will be a chance to hear some new songs live as well as old favourites. Friday night is gonna be a breakdown party courtesy of Frankie Palmeri and the boys. SC

Nothing More (Zippo Encore Stage)

Nothing More’s second trip to Download is the better part of 18 months in the making, having unfortunately to cancel a planned appearance at Download 2017. Twelve months on they’ll be back to make up for it, off the back of the magnificent album The Stories They Tell Themselves. Having fully announced themselves to the UK on their previous Download appearance, this will be their biggest opportunity in the UK so far. We back them to fully make the most of it. JG

Bad Religion (Avalanche Stage)

No, you haven’t accidentally teleported to early ‘00s in front of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, Bad Religion are headlining the Avalanche Stage. While this may seem ‘Stranger Than Fiction’, the band have dropped sly hints of a new album to follow up on 2013’s ‘True North’, so Donington may be the best proving ground for fresh tracks. ‘Los Angeles Is Burning’ but we may need to pray to ‘American Jesus’ to keep hold of the sun while these timeless punks make their mark. (AC)

Savage Messsiah (Dogtooth Stage)

Bay area thrash meets NWOBH. Savage Messiah are one of the most cutting edge metal bands around today. Razor sharp riffs and anthems for days. If old school heavy metal is your thing, then grab your denim and leather and get ready to bang you heard hard. SC

You Me At Six (Zippo Encore Stage)

Off the back of last year’s ‘Night People’, Surrey boys You Me At Six head up north to headline Friday’s Zippo Encore Stage proceedings. Wielding new blockbuster ‘Take On The World’ alongside their wealth of contagious hits, it’s no surprise these guys return to the hallowed Download stage a whopping six years after their last appearance. Fancy popping down to second stage on Friday night for a heartfelt singalong and to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their debut ‘Take Off Your Colours’? I would, ‘If I Were In Your Shoes’. (AC)

Cancer Bats (Avalanche Stage)

The UK and Cancer Bats have a huge mutual love in dating back many years, so it’s no surprise their announcement for Download 2018 was welcomed by so many. Having dropped their surprise new album The Spark That Moves last month to wild acclaim, their stint in the Avalanche Stage tent is likely to see bodies flying everywhere. If their brand of hardcore punk is your cup of tea, they could well be the band of the day. JG

Other notable bands to check out – TesseracT, Napalm Death, Employed To Serve, Helpless, CKY.

Tickets for Download Festival 2018 are still on sale and can be obtained (both for the full weekend and for individual days) right here. Stay tuned to Rock Sins for loads more build up to Download 2018 including in-depth previews of the other two days of the festival.

Download Festival 2018 Latest Line Up Poster 8th May 2018

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